LH5202, Tunic Blouse

I love the Loes Hinse Tunic Blouse.  It has such a lovely, classic, elegant shape and fit but at the same time is easy to sew. Once it is fit, that is. Unfortunately, for the last year I’ve been unable to completely fit this pattern.  I’ve been close. I’ve had wearable. But not delightful.

My body has changed. Which has changed my fit.  I’ve learned that my shoulders have become more slopped and that my right shoulder is lower than the left.  I keep looking for a fitting procedure that will address my new issues along with my previous issues of narrow shoulders, petite stature, prominent posterior and well padded frame.  Any time I learn something new, I come back to LH 5202 and see if I can fit it to me now.

My latest fitting foray was Pivot and Slide. Long touted by Nancy Zieman as the easiest and  simplest pattern alteration method. If you read my blog posts, you’ll know I”m not sure I agree. My total failure with this system surprised me. It seemed so reasonable. My biggest disagreement with this method is the ‘working in a void’ attitude. Every alteration is written from the point of view that no other alterations took place before and none will take place hereafter.  I can work around that.  I can’t work around  an odd armscye,  wonky waist and hem that resulted from my application of P&S instructions. I’m not ready to try Pivot and Slide again, just yet. But I do take some of the basic principles to heart. I’m most impressed with the idea of comparing my body’s measurements with the body measurements for which the pattern was drafted and altering the pattern accordingly.

For determining size, Loes Hinse gives only two measurements the bust and hip. I chose to use the Large because at least one measurement, the bust, equaled my own. Besides I felt virtuous for having followed the experts’ recommendation to ‘select your blouse size based on your bust measurement’.  From the given hip, I use P&S to  calculate adding  1/2″ at the hip to match my own.  But what of the other body places for which no measurement was provided?   I hunted for standard measurement charts. If Loes has published a chart, I couldn’t find it. My favs, Burda and Ottobre design, publish pretty good charts, but I can’t be sure any other pattern maker uses these same numbers.   The Big 4  pattern companies really don’t tell you much more than bust, waist and hip (which are not the same as Burda or Otto) but they do add the back waist length.  To my surprise, there is a 2″ difference between my BWL and Burda Otto and the Big 4 charts. For years, I have been making a standard 1″ BWL no matter what pattern size I cut. I think this could be significant.

Determining the size of those other places by measuring the pattern pieces of  LH5202 has 2 issues. 1) it includes Loes idea of needed body and style ease. 2) The pattern isn’t marked for bust, waist, hip or anything else.  I appointed the narrowest circumference as ‘waist’. Measured 7″ down (the distance between my personal waist and hip l) and called that ‘hip’. I measured across the back from notch to notch to determine the back width was 15 -3/4.

I traced the Large and made the 2″ BWL first. In place of my slash and mash method, I followed Kathleen Cheetham’s instructions for making a Narrow Shoulder Adjustment. Then increased the shoulder slope by drawing a mark 5/8″ above the shoulder-neck point and drawing a line from the new point to the shoulder/armscye point.    My back is 15.5″ which is only 1/4″ narrower so I left the back alone.  I measured the ‘bust’ and ‘waist’ I had marked on the pattern. Calculated the difference between my body and those measurements; and decided to leave those two point alone, at least for now. Then plotted my hip point 1/2″ away from the side seam across from the line I  had designated ‘hip’.  I extended the hem straight out from the side seam and the drew a vertical line from hem up to ‘hip’.  I aligned my hip-curve ruler with the original waist and hip curve of the pattern and then pivoted the ruler from the pattern’s waist to my new ‘hip’ before drawing the new side seam line. My pattern looks wearable

I made the same changes to the back but no changes to the sleeve.  I measured the sleeve at the bicep and calculated 4″ ease. That’s good.  Including cuff, the sleeve will finish 1″ longer. I may come back and change the sleeve length. I measured the total circumference of the pattern at bust, waist and hip, subtracting seam allowances and overlap. Then subtracted my measurements. I should have sufficient ease. More than sufficient. I could go down a size if this was a knit or stretch woven.

I’m ready to tackle fabric and test fit tomorrow.



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